Early in 2013 I attended an Information Evening about foundation teaching applications for Hobsonville Point Secondary School. I had always liked the idea of being part of the foundation staff at a school and getting to develop the culture of the place, so was quite excited about attending this and finding out more. The meeting was everything I hoped for and more. Maurie, Lea, Claire and Di set out an exciting vision and I was amped about what this school was going to look like. So amped, I was ringing my partner before even making it back to the car, to tell her I needed to get a job teaching at this school – it sounded like my dream job!
Thankfully I did get the opportunity to be part of the foundation staff at HPSS and it has definitely been my dream job. We have hacked the New Zealand Curriculum; created meaningful learning design and curriculum principles; and I have thrived teaching and learning in such an innovative environment. But now, just 2 1/2 years after starting here, I am leaving my dream job.
I knew this day would come at some stage but after 5 or 6 years, not after 2 1/2 years. So why leave my dream job at HPSS?
I always wanted my next step from here to be into a Senior Leadership position to help lead change. It is easier to innovate when starting from scratch like we did here at HPSS – it is much more difficult to do this in a school already up and running with it’s own set of traditions and embedded practices. That is the next challenge that I wanted to take on – leading change towards future focused learning practices in a more traditional environment.
I really believed that I would need a few more years before I was ready to take on this challenge but my experiences at HPSS have had a dramatic impact. Two and a half years working in this environment seems to have caused 10 years of professional growth. I now feel ready to take on that next challenge and have always espoused that people need to push themselves to take on the next challenge rather than sitting in their comfort zone.
It is going to be extremely difficult for me though. I have loved my time at Hobsonville Point Secondary School. The innovative, iterating environment, people and practices have become my real comfort zone. Going back into a more traditional environment will definitely have it’s moments of discomfort for me. But, I have grown as a leader here at Hobsonville Point. Now it is time to see if I can help lead that transformation/evolution of learning practices in another environment.
The next challenge presented itself and I was privileged to be chosen to take it on. I am moving onto Lynfield College to be Deputy Principal. Lynfield is a successful, high achieving school in West Auckland with an incredibly diverse student population. It has, however, only just started on it’s e-learning journey and it will be great to come in and help as the school shifts towards more future focused learning.
The staff I have met so far have been extremely welcoming and I am starting on my senior leadership journey under highly experienced school leaders in Steve Bovaird and Lexie Ridling. The Learning Charter is one that aligns really well with how I view learning should occur, so I am really excited about starting next year and getting to know the staff and students.
This is the perfect opportunity for me. A school that is succeeding in all senses of the word but is looking as to how they can improve that further. A leadership role that involves getting to focus on effective blended learning pedagogy, professional learning and teaching as inquiry. A school community that represents the diverse, multicultural future of New Zealand.
So, why leave my dream job?
For the perfect opportunity.